Home Gaming Long-term study: Violent media doesn’t cause violence

Long-term study: Violent media doesn’t cause violence

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Violent games

Oh look, yet another study that says the same thing that we all knew. Violent games (and other media such as movies) are not linked to violence in the real world. In fact, the researcher had some rather scathing remarks that I can only hope will get through to policy makers.

This latest research was led by psychologist Christopher Ferguson and published in the Journal of Communication. A main part of the study was to analyze previous research. Ferguson found that the previous studies didn’t provide context to violent media and that aggressive behaviors were measured outside of a real-world context. His study actually found a drop in youth violence connected to an increase in gaming.

According to Ferguson, the media narrative that violent video games are linked to youth violence is probably due to the limited resources and attention society is willing to devote to the problem of reducing crime. He goes on to say that by incorrectly identifying the problem (read: pointing the finger at games and other media) it may “distract society from more pressing concerns such as poverty, education and vocational disparities and mental health.”

This research may help society focus on issues that really matter and avoid devoting unnecessary resources to the pursuit of moral agendas with little practical value.

I’m so glad the researcher went so far with his comments. The reality is that there are a wide range of variables that can lead to violent crime. Everything from the individual’s mental heath, to poverty, education or life circumstances can affect a person’s propensity for violent behavior. To point the finger at violent media is not only incorrect, but oversimplifies matters and takes away the attention from the real issues.

I’m skeptical if these studies actually make any difference, unfortunately. Those who know anything about games and gaming know that there is no link between violent games and violent actions; it’s the uninformed who make these claims, and as long as they continue to scream the loudest at the most opportune times, they will continue to get attention.

Last Updated: January 5, 2015

48 Comments

  1. Jonah Cash

    January 5, 2015 at 10:52

    “as long as they continue to scream the loudest at the most opportune times, they will continue to get attention.”

    This is the best way to sum up this and so many other problems!! Also the reason why the minority is getting things done that the majority hate but because we are just law abiding citizens we just shut up and take it…. If there is going to be a revolt in the whole world in the near future it will be against this!! I for one am tired that the minority is getting more done than us the majority just because they shout the loudest and I am sure that there are many people who feel the same way!!

    Reply

  2. Admiral Chief

    January 5, 2015 at 10:54

    Fallout ftw

    Reply

    • CAE9872

      January 5, 2015 at 11:03

      why does your avatar remind me of Abe? Is it Abe?

      Reply

      • Blood Emperor Trevor

        January 5, 2015 at 11:10

        It looks like Admiral Ackbar to me.

        Reply

        • Hammersteyn

          January 5, 2015 at 11:14

          Admiral Chief Ackbar. ITS A TRAP

          Reply

          • Dutch Matrix

            January 5, 2015 at 11:16

            OPen Youtube. Search How Man of Steel should have ended…

          • Blood Emperor Trevor

            January 5, 2015 at 11:18

            I’m quite happy it ended with a… snap.

          • Dutch Matrix

            January 5, 2015 at 11:25

            No. Go watch it. DO IT!!! NOW!!!

          • Hammersteyn

            January 5, 2015 at 11:33

            Bwahahahaha!

        • Captain JJ Saga

          January 5, 2015 at 11:35

          Looks like an imposter to me!

          Reply

          • Blood Emperor Trevor

            January 5, 2015 at 11:39

            YOU’RE THE IMPOSTER. Who knows what you really look like? :/

          • Captain JJ Saga

            January 5, 2015 at 11:44

            LOL

  3. Mossel

    January 5, 2015 at 10:56

    Speaking of violence…have you guys seen the trailer for a game called “Hatred”? Let me know your comments…

    Reply

    • Admiral Chief

      January 5, 2015 at 10:57

      Yeah, there was an article on Lagz last year about it, actually a few of them.

      Reply

      • Kromas, Guardian of Cenarius

        January 5, 2015 at 10:59

        Last year … damn I already forgot we hit 2015.

        Reply

      • Mossel

        January 5, 2015 at 11:00

        Oh crap, then I missed it. But yeah, that is pushing it a little bit too far. Gameplay does look cool though…haha.

        Reply

    • CAE9872

      January 5, 2015 at 11:02

      Haven’t seen trailer but have read the various reports. In my view, a developer should be allowed to make what they want. The market then decides what is or isn’t acceptable. I am unlikely to play it truth be told. Who is anyone to say what another can or cannot make/draw/write/etc. It’s a slippery slope when you censor things i.e. where do you stop?

      Reply

    • Her Highness the Hipster

      January 5, 2015 at 11:05

      we reported on it a bunch. i know it’s over the top, but i still want to play it! 😛

      Reply

    • Dutch Matrix

      January 5, 2015 at 11:09

      If I could name some of the victims in that game… Have little balloons floating above their heads… Take THAT girl that rejected me in Grade 1!!!

      Reply

      • Dutch Matrix

        January 5, 2015 at 11:28

        Guys! Guys! I think I did it! I wrote the comment that not even Hammersteyn will upvote!!!

        Reply

        • Quo Vadis?

          January 5, 2015 at 11:28

          just to be different 😉

          Reply

    • vicky john

      January 5, 2015 at 11:25

      Hatred gonna be one of the most violent game so far..

      Reply

  4. CAE9872

    January 5, 2015 at 11:05

    And yet the big daily newspapers in UK and US will ignore this study as it doesn’t promote their one-sided points of view.

    Reply

  5. RinceThis

    January 5, 2015 at 11:14

    And yet FOX news will still claim games make us violent… http://cdn.themetapicture.com/media/funny-gif-ugly-face-Fox-News.gif

    Reply

    • Rock789

      January 5, 2015 at 11:23

      o_O

      Reply

      • Blood Emperor Trevor

        January 5, 2015 at 11:24

        Did you also substitute the guy on the left with Rince talking & the guy on the right showing your general reaction to that?

        Reply

        • RinceThis

          January 5, 2015 at 11:26

          You shut your mouth! It’s 2015, time to be nice!

          Reply

          • Blood Emperor Trevor

            January 5, 2015 at 11:27

            Stop oppressing me.

  6. Blood Emperor Trevor

    January 5, 2015 at 11:17

    It’s all about political agendas & fear mongering.

    “Listen to me older, ignorant people. I will save us from the corrupting influence this vile (entertainment source) has on our children. It’s the boogeyman & if you don’t society will be ruined. I don’t necessarily believe this to be true, but you do. So I’ll tell you that it’s true. Vote for me.”

    Reply

    • Quo Vadis?

      January 5, 2015 at 11:21

      what would you know? LOL

      Reply

      • Blood Emperor Trevor

        January 5, 2015 at 11:25

        That might not be an exact quote. 😉

        Reply

        • Captain JJ Saga

          January 5, 2015 at 11:30

          Sounds like a quote from the speech you gave to your “people” before they “elected” you as their emperor

          Reply

          • Quo Vadis?

            January 5, 2015 at 11:32

            and those that abstained from the vote? or voted no? Or should questions like that be like Nkandla? hahahaha

          • Blood Emperor Trevor

            January 5, 2015 at 11:32

            I don’t understand why you used quotation marks around certain words.

          • Captain JJ Saga

            January 5, 2015 at 11:33

            🙂

    • Captain JJ Saga

      January 5, 2015 at 11:29

      Sounds about right

      Reply

  7. Quo Vadis?

    January 5, 2015 at 11:21

    Studies have been done ad nauseam on the topic, and everyone has returned either inconclusive, or with the outcome as per the article above. In the aftermath of Colombine, the media was haphazardly running around looking for a scapegoat – Marilyn Manson, video games, guns, alt literature, you name it. They didn’t even come close. Sh!tty parenting, rampant dehumanizing and humiliating bullying and absentee teachers and authority figures were the culprits. And its the same with all of the shootings these days. The loner who has been stretched to the end of his or her tether, and they snap. AAAAAND the cycle will be repeated. Video games will be blamed, and gun control issues will be lobbied again and again.

    Reply

    • zeemonkeyman

      January 5, 2015 at 12:59

      You hit the nail on the head there. The first place they need to start is with the bullying, nothing could ever justify these massacres but the people who do it have usually lived a torture filled misery of a life. If they need to blame something apart from the perpetrator they should be blaming the bullies.

      Reply

      • Quo Vadis?

        January 5, 2015 at 13:04

        Exactly. No one listens, until it is too late. But still, they will try and find some or other scapegoat.

        Reply

  8. Quo Vadis?

    January 5, 2015 at 11:24

    Reply

  9. Rock789

    January 5, 2015 at 11:30

    This kinda thing – blaming some form of entertainment for violence – has been around since the 60s and 70s when rock music first came around…

    And I have to admit, when I hear about reports stating “this, that and the next thing about violence in video games” I usually only hear “blah blah blah – I’m a dirty tramp!” These reports have been done to death – and there will always be those that are idiots and believe violence in games is the cause, and those people with common sense that don’t. Sadly, the idiots outnumber the rest of us… And they’re louder!! So it’ll always be a thing till the next ‘that causes violence’ trend comes along…

    Reply

    • Captain JJ Saga

      January 5, 2015 at 11:33

      Agreed. The new popular trend will always either be bad for the kids or satanic.

      Reply

    • Dutch Matrix

      January 5, 2015 at 11:37

      • Rock789

        January 5, 2015 at 11:51

        He looks more like “I have a secret that no-one else knows”… Maybe he let one go in a crowded room? 😉 🙂

        Reply

        • Captain JJ Saga

          January 5, 2015 at 11:53

          Looks a bit indifferent to be honest

          Reply

  10. zeemonkeyman

    January 5, 2015 at 12:50

    I think Kmart needs to read his paper instead of listening to a bunch of uninformed soccer mums that went out and bought their children an R18 game and then had the audacity to complain about the violence in it…

    Reply

  11. Tom Krager

    January 5, 2015 at 14:54

    I love being vindicated . . . Feels so good.

    Reply

  12. GEOMETRY'S

    January 6, 2015 at 09:53

    Take note Hookers of Australia

    Reply

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